Best remote desktop software of 2022

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
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Three computer monitors against a blue digital background.
(Image credit: Pixabay)

We feature the best remote desktop software to make it easy to control and access PCs and deploy software remotely. 

Choosing the best remote desktop software will equip you with the tools needed to access and manage one or more computers from another device. Remote access is possible via both local networks and the internet, which means that, with the right software, anyone can access any device, anywhere in the world. 

With one of the remote desktop access applications we’ve listed below, you will be able to do any one of a number of things. 

For example, you could use your personal smartphone to access and manage files on your business PC or office laptop without having to leave your home. Having this versatility is great, especially during periods of sickness or difficulty when you’re unable to physically go to the office as it is the case now.

No wonder that searches related to remote desktop have shot up significantly over the past few months as businesses scramble to find more about remote access.

Remote access 10 Macs or Windows PC for only $3.98 (opens in new tab)

Remote access 10 Macs or Windows PC for only $3.98 (opens in new tab)
Ever thought of remote desktop as an alternative to VD/DAAS. With Remote PC you can. Connect to your work or office computer from anywhere using secure remote access. Transfer files/folders, even from mapped drives, between your computers. Get free real-time remote support beyond the screen via live video sharing with AR.

2. Zoho Assist specializes in support and advanced features (opens in new tab)

2. Zoho Assist specializes in support and advanced features (opens in new tab)
Zoho Assist (opens in new tab) is a close second to RemotePC. It provides specialized remote support and access plans designed to streamline workflow. Support plans start at $8 per month and include features such as remote printing and custom branding, great for support technicians and IT managers.

Using remote access software is simple. They generally take no more than a few minutes to set up, and you will usually have to install the software on the computer or other device you want to access the remote computer with. Many programs also need to be installed on the remote PC, while others are connected via a weblink or access code. 

Some versions of Windows come with built-in remote desktop software, but third-party tools often perform much better and come with significantly more features. This could be especially important if you’re planning on using the software regularly. 

There are a few other popular uses for the best remote desktop software. For example, you can handle complicated tasks from a laptop by connecting remotely to a more powerful computer. Also, IT support staff regularly use remote access programs to control a client’s computer and deal with any issues. 

In the this article, we've briefly covered the best remote desktop software to help you choose the right one for your needs.

We've also featured the best help desk software.


The best remote desktop software of 2022 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: LogMeIn)
Powerful solutions for large businesses and enterprises

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful features
+
Cloud storage and LastPass Premium included

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Could be overkill for many users

LogMeIn Pro is one of the most popular remote desktop access programs available, and it’s a great choice for large businesses. It is a little expensive, but it comes with a great range of tools designed for enterprise users. 

Plans cater for two remote connections and a 14-day free trial is available. If you need more connections, you can simply upgrade to a higher plan. Additionally, LogMeIn Pro is easy to set up, highly secure, and backed by 24/7 live support. Note, though, that its performance can be a little slow at times.

One of the most appealing aspects of LogMeIn Pro has to be the great level of customer support on offer. If you're a beleaguered IT manager, this feature alone will probably convince you to give it a go. However, LogMeIn Pro continues to have a fine set of features and functions, all of which makes it universally appealing, especially with the fairly bulletproof security features that also come as part of the package. Said packages are quite pricey though.

Read our full LogMeIn Pro review.

(Image credit: TeamViewer)
Best remote PC software for cross-platform compatibility

Reasons to buy

+
Very easy to use
+
Great cross-platform compatibility

Reasons to avoid

-
On the expensive side
-
Can be laggy with slow connections  

TeamViewer is a powerful remote access program that enables remote access to and from computers, mobile devices, network machines, and more. Unfortunately, though, it is quite expensive. 

There is a free version of TeamViewer available for personal users, but businesses and other commercial users will have to upgrade to a paid subscription. The cost is quite expensive, however, TeamViewer offers impressive cross-platform compatibility, which includes remote mobile access and IoT device compatibility.

TeamViewer has lots to offer, especially for larger organizations that need the extra muscle for their remote desktop software needs. The pricing structure is certainly geared more towards big firms and those with IT departments. This is made even more of a positive aspect thanks to the way the software can be deployed across multiple machines so easily. 

Then there are the collaborative tools, such as voice, chat and video options, all of which come into their own when you have to deal with multiple employees. There’s also the security factor with TeamViewer, with an array of cool features that help to make it one of the most secure remote desktop software options on the market. All in all, there is much to like about this product.

Read our full TeamViewer review.

(Image credit: Devolutions)
Suited to businesses with large networks of connected devices

Reasons to buy

+
 Impressive security features
+
 Very easy to use 

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
-
Can be a little slow

Remote Desktop Manager is a powerful remote computer access program offering scalable solutions for large businesses. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices and comes with a selection of impressive security features. 

Unfortunately, though, Remote Desktop Manager is slightly expensive. Custom enterprise-level solutions are also available.

Generally, though, Remote Desktop Manager is one of the best network management solutions available for medium- to large-sized businesses. Role-based access controls are a major plus for IT administrators managing multiple teams across departments. 

The wealth of integrations is also a benefit, since you won’t have to completely transition away from existing password managers or authentication systems. That said, smaller IT teams are likely to find that Remote Desktop Manager is overkill for most simple helpdesk and screen sharing needs.

Read our full Remote Desktop Manager review.

(Image credit: Splashtop)
Powerful remote desktop with impressive features

Reasons to buy

+
Specialized plans
+
Multi-device compatibility

Reasons to avoid

-
Different features available on different devices
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Can be expensive

Splashtop is a versatile remote computer access program with a range of impressive features, including a user-friendly interface and impressive security. It’s compatible with most common operating systems, including Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. 

Splashtop comes in a number of specialized forms. Prices for Splashtop Business Access enables remote access to a specified number of computers. Remote Support plans cater for up to 25 computers, and SOS on-demand support is the highest end plan.

Overall, Splashtop is a powerful remote desktop connection manager backed by highly targeted plans and great security. New users will benefit from a seven-day trial with the software package of their choice, but payments are only available on an annual basis. 

Splashtop is a great choice for those without much tech experience. It’s easy to set up and the user interface is responsive and beginner-friendly. The software also comes with some great extra features, powerful security on all levels, and a detailed knowledge base. 

Read our full Splashtop review.

(Image credit: RemotePC)
Simply the best remote computer access for business users

Reasons to buy

+
Uses a versatile web app
+
Suited to a large number of connections

Reasons to avoid

-
Can take some time to set up
-
Web app doesn’t include all features

RemotePC is a hugely-popular remote computer access application that’s suitable for both home and—in particular—for business users. It uses cloud technology to deliver class-leading remote access solutions through an intuitive web application and native desktop and mobile apps. It also includes collaboration features such as voice chat. 

On top of this, RemotePC is highly secure, scalable, and affordable. A 30-day free trial is available with all plans. It’s a scalable program with the power to connect large numbers of devices.

Business users looking for a very easy to use but powerful package will find RemotePC one of the best there is. Larger corporate customers may wish to go their own way, but there are plenty of features and functions here that will be useful to larger concerns looking for value. 

One of the best features has to be the HelpDesk aspect of the package, which is undeniably useful if you’ve got lots of workers tapping in to the software. The same goes for the collaborative tools, such as the video and audio conferencing aspects. Then, of course, the way that RemotePC can be used across any kind of platform is another plus, be it Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile devices. 

And, in terms of usability, the no-nonsense web interface is a real treat, especially for employees who might only need to dip into the world of remote working on an occasional basis.

Read our full RemotePC review.

(Image credit: Zoho Assist)
Great all-round remote desktop access software

Reasons to buy

+
 Very competitive prices
+
 Includes a selection of powerful tools 

Reasons to avoid

-
 No general plan with all features
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 Free tier is very limited 

Cloud-based Zoho Assist is one of our favorite remote access tools because it enables you to access almost any device. It provides specialized remote support and unattended access plans designed to streamline workflow processes. 

Zoho Assist’s support plans include features such as remote printing and custom branding. They’re great for people such as support technicians and IT managers. More advanced features can also be accessed, with higher-end plans.

Zoho Assist is protected by some of the best security integrations we’ve seen, which means it’s a great choice for those working with sensitive data.

This is a remote desktop software solution that continues to improve and get better with age. Zoho Assist might lack the real muscle that very large concerns will need, but there is plenty here that will appeal to mid-size businesses that require a simple to use but potent solution. 

Zoho continues to make improvements to its Zoho Assist software too, with better options now available for people who want to make file transfers using the iOS and Android mobile editions. The same goes for the way you can work closely with Slack too. And, this being Zoho, there is solid support and integration if you use other products in the portfolio, such as Zoho CRM.

Read our full Zoho Assist review.

(Image credit: ISL Online)
A great solution for businesses both big and small

Reasons to buy

+
Competitive pricing
+
Cross-platform support
+
Great security features
+
Multiple ways to launch a remote session
+
An impressive assortment of remote access tools for both techs and clients

Reasons to avoid

-
Additional licensing fees can get expensive
-
Some users report slow response time when more than one session is active

ISL Online offers a number of powerful remote access tools, with multiple ways to support clients across a myriad of machines and platforms. On top of top-shelf security features and permissions tools for both techs and clients, it’s clear just how much ISL values user data across the board.

While some of the Cloud-licensing fees can be a bit hefty (especially for smaller businesses), this is more than made up for by the massive bounty of tools, extensions, and add-ons that come with an ISL subscription.

For those new to the suite, there’s also an excellent built-in support team to help both you and your clients successfully integrate with ISL Online.

Read our full ISL Online review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Parallels)
Best for remote desktop access from a mobile device

Reasons to buy

+
Very user-friendly remote access
+
Unique mobile user interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Some advanced features are absent
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Not suitable for remote network control 

Parallels Access is designed for remote computer access from mobile devices. It does support computer–computer connections, but the majority of its features are mobile-centered. Reasonable prices make it one of the more affordable options on this list. 

One of our favorite things about Parallels Access is its tidy user interface. Rather than simply showing your desktop screen on a mobile device, like most of its competitors do, it presents a modified, mobile-friendly version. Overall, this program is a great choice for those who want to remotely access their computer from a mobile device. 

If you’re a regular user of mobile and tablet devices, such as an iPad, the options offered up by Parallels Access make it a must-have. The very straightforward way it both functions and delivers access means the software can be operated by anyone and from anywhere. There’s even the option of working remotely using the same gestures called upon for other functions when using an iPad. 

Admittedly, there are some limitations on the amount of machines you can connect to, although business users can opt to add extra capacity as and when needed. However, that starts to make the costs go up. If you’re a business owner that needs to allow remote access for multiple staff members then other options might be worth exploring instead. For individual users though, Parallel Access shines.

Read our full Parallels Access review.

(Image credit: AnyDesk)
Best remote desktop solution for small business users

Reasons to buy

+
Unattended access
+
Affordable single-user option

Reasons to avoid

-
Slender toolset
-
Support a mixed bag

AnyDesk (opens in new tab) software works by offering access to Windows and Mac computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. There’s a built-in file manager for easy transfer of content between host ad remote machines, although there is no provision for the drag-and-drop processing of files. 

Organizational duties are covered by an address book system to track all computers that are being accessed remotely. There are also plenty of tools for easy collaboration, with a text chat box, for example, that can assist with remote support duties. There’s a virtual whiteboard and the ability to invite another users onto your network, which is similarly handy for support scenarios.

We’re big fans of AnyDesk and it really comes into its own for anyone wanting remote desktop access on an occasional basis and doesn't need all of the bells and whistles. However, there are some shortcomings if you’re running a larger business with the need for the sort of power tools found in something like TeamViewer. Nevertheless, AnyDesk is an easy to use package, and the pricing is okay too; it’s even better if you only need the free edition.

Read our full AnyDesk review.

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Highly affordable remote Windows computer access

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable
+
Comes with numerous advanced features

Reasons to avoid

-
Only compatible with Windows devices 
-
Setting up a network can be time consuming 

If you’re looking for an affordable remote access program without ongoing fees, Remote Utilities for Windows could be for you. It comes with a range of impressive features, including file transfer, video calls, and session recording. A free technician license allows you to access up to 10 remote computers. An enterprise-level site-wide license supports unlimited users.

Remote Utilities for Windows is an extremely affordable remote desktop connection manager for Windows computers. Licenses are a one-time cost rather than a subscription, which can ultimately save a significant amount of money for businesses small and large. 

The software has a number of small but highly useful features that can help IT teams manage helpdesk services. While it would be much better if this platform had support for Mac and Linux computers, that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker if your company primarily runs on Windows devices. 

Read our full Remote Utilities for Windows review.

(Image credit: Connectwise)
Highly specialized remote access for support and unattended access

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful software
+
Easy to deploy
+
Lots of features

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be expensive

ConnectWise Control provides highly specialized remote access solutions targeted at specific users. Its three Support plans come with some remote access features, and include powerful tools to help IT staff and support technicians solve problems remotely. The Access plan caters for 25 devices and is aimed at those who want to connect with numerous remote devices. 

The main issue with ConnectWise Control is its sometimes poor performance. Even with a fast internet connection, the user interface can be slow and laggy, which isn’t ideal at the best of times.

Overall, ConnectWise Control is a solid remote computer access program with a few flaws. Its pricing structure is clear, but with the cheapest plan starting at $19 per month, it’s certainly not the most economical option around. 

Fortunately, though, ConnectWise Control provides a range of additional features for remote access, support, and team meetings. However, the web user interface is quite cluttered and considerable lag can be a problem at times. Ultimately, ConnectWise Control’s decent customer support and great security features mean that it gets the thumbs up from us, but be aware of its flaws. 

Read our full Connectwise Control review.

(Image credit: Google)
Best free remote computer access program for business

Reasons to buy

+
100% free forever
+
Great cross-platform compatibility 

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks advanced features 
-
Can only be used with Google Chrome  

Chrome Remote Desktop is a free remote access program that’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. It's extremely limited when compared to some of the paid options on this list, but it’s the best free software we’ve come across and is a great option for personal use.

Since Chrome Remote Desktop is available as a browser extension, it can be used on any device that supports the Chrome browser. It is a little limited on mobile devices, but it’s easy to set up and is certainly worth considering.

Overall, Chrome Remote Desktop offers excellent performance and accessibility, and it works well for accessing a remote desktop on Mac, Windows, and Linux. While the mobile app doesn’t provide quite the same functionality, it’s still a decent way to access a desktop remotely. The Remote Support tool perfectly adapts Chrome Remote Desktop for support contexts. 

On the other hand, the lack of features such as drag-and-drop file transfers, remote printing, and live chat between devices makes the application substantially less efficient in some use cases. Furthermore, you won’t be able to access live support if you run into any issues. Overall, Chrome Remote Desktop is a simple and straightforward option, but it’s missing several features that are critical in a variety of business contexts. 

Read our full Chrome Remote Desktop review.


What are Remote Desktop Services (RDS)?

According to Vinod Jeyachandra, CTO of Anunta Tech (opens in new tab), in Microsoft Windows, Remote Desktop Services is a platform that lets users share desktop environments between one Windows computer and another over the Internet. By setting up RDS on a Windows server, then using a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) application like Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can log in from another computer to a Windows environment that is hosted via RDS.

Once you log into the RDS-hosted PC environment, you can usually access all of the same local resources - including storage, applications, the Windows desktop interface and so on - that you would be able to use if the RDS environment were an actual PC that was sitting in front of you. RDS can also be configured to make only certain applications available to remote users, if admins choose to set it up that way.

Typically, the machine that hosts RDS runs in the same physical location - such as the same office building - as the computers from which users access the remote desktop environments. It is also possible, however, to install RDS on a server running in the cloud and share desktops from the cloud.

He noted, for the record, RDS in this context should not be confused with Amazon RDS, a cloud-based database service that does not have anything to do with Windows RDS.

How we tested the best remote desktop software

Remote desktop software has developed rapidly since the pandemic began, making it easier for remote workers and hybrid teams to connect safely and securely with business networks. For this independent review, we’ve analyzed some of the best-known remote desktop software solutions on the market, evaluating them for their usability, features, and integration with other software. How they stand up to the new rigors enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic has also been considered. In terms of what you should look for in a remote desktop tool, scalability, reliability and security are also important. These are factors that we carefully assessed before choosing our best remote desktop software solutions.

See how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.  

Which remote desktop software is best for you?

When deciding which remote desktop software to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as the range of remote desktop platforms also offer a varied range of tools, features, and utilities. Budget software options can sometimes provide everything you may need, but high-end remote desktop software can really cater for every possibility, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may need to save on the pain of changing to a different software platform later on.

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Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in B2B and B2C tech and finance, with a particular focus on VoIP, website building, web hosting, and other related fields.